||Illustrated descriptive book about Erez Israel by Abraham Moses Luncz. The title page, in both Hebrew and German, states that it contains a description of the cities pf the Holy Land and its settlements with numerous pictures and illustrations. The text is also in Hebrew and German, the upper part of each page is in the former, the bottom in the latter. The text begins with Jaffa, its surrounding villages, the holy places of Jerusalem, and goes on to describe such locations as Hadera, Hebron, Jericho, Safed, Shechem, and many other sites. Information is provided about these locations and their Jewish populations. There are both numerous photographs and woodcuts.
Abraham Moses Luncz (1854–1918) was an author, publisher, and editor of geographical works on Erez Israel. Born in Kovno, Luncz emigrated, in 1869, to Jerusalem, where he was accepted as a pupil in the Ez Hayyim yeshivah. The director, R. Moses Nehemiah Kahana, favored secular education and the use of Hebrew as a spoken language, with result that Luncz was able to continue his secular studies and his reading of Haskalah books. The head of the Jerusalem maskilim was Israel Dov Frumkin, with whom Luncz began to associate, founding the Maskilim Circle and the Moses Montefiore Library (1873–74). In 1873, Luncz began writing in Frumkin’s Ha-Havazzelet, and like the latter, criticized the halukkah and its administrators. He did not, however, always oppose the traditional community. In 1876, after writing several geographical articles, Luncz published a guide to Jerusalem, Netivot Ziyyon vi-Yrushalayim, the first such work in Hebrew. From then until his death he worked tirelessly to perfect his geographical knowledge. In 1877, Luncz’s sight began to fail, and by 1879 was blind. His misfortune did not deter him from his projects. Among them are yearbook of Erez Israel (12 volumes appeared by the time of his death 36 years later). Although blind, Luncz undertook the publication of the Jerusalem Talmud according to a manuscript that he found in the Vatican Library. By the time of his death, he had reached the tractate Shevi'it. Luncz also wrote Die juedischen Kolonien Palaestinas (1902) and edited Ha-Ikkar (1894–96). Besides these literary activities, he was an active member of the Va'ad ha-Lashon ha-Ivrit and in 1902, with two of his friends, he founded the Educational Center for the Blind.